When it comes to Golden Services, we’ve been caring and supporting families living with Dementia for a number of years. This means that we understand that caring for someone living with Dementia can be both physically and mentally exhausting, it affects every part of your life and can make you feel isolated, stressed and sometimes even depressed.
One thing our experience has shown us is that there’s no right or wrong way when it comes to caring for someone who is living with Dementia, everyone has their own unique needs.
Everyone will experience caring for someone with Dementia in their own way, there’ll be days when you feel like you can cope well and days where you can’t. You may find that there’s some aspects of caring that you can manage easily, whilst others may prove more difficult.
No matter how caring for someone with Dementia affects you, it’s important that you leave to cope with some of the things that you may find difficult.
Prioritise on the things that you really need to do and which areas are less important, then carry out the most important things first.
There’s only so much you can do, focus on what you can do and accept the things that you cant. Focus on the good things, you may find it hard to find positives, but you could try writing them down. When you’re having a difficult day, these things can remind you of all the good that you are doing.
Don’t compare yourself
Try not to compare yourself to others, everyone’s situation will be different and everyone has their own challenges to face. You may struggle with things that they find easy, but they may find things you cope well with, difficult.
Understand your feelings
Accept any negative feelings you have and then move on. You’re not alone in feeling this way, it’s very normal. Negative feelings don’t mean that you’re a bad person or you’re feeling frustrated. Maybe you’re trying to do too much and you’re not getting the help you need. Once you’ve understood why you feel this way, you can make a clearer decision about what’s right for you and the person you’re caring for.
Don’t bottle things up, it’s important to talk and get things off your chest. From talking with friends to family members or other carer in similar circumstances, this will make you feel less isolated and stressed and it can help to put things in perspective. Talking about your experiences with others can be hugely beneficial.
Talk to a Dementia professional
If you feel that you’re really struggling, speak to someone as soon as possible, your GP, social worker or counsellor, or even a good friend or family member or on a helpline or discussion forum, there’s plenty of places to talk.
Ask for help
Don’t be afraid to ask for help and support if you need it, involving family and friends helps reduce some of your stress, they may also be able to look after the person whilst you have a rest.
Take a break
Don’t forget to take car and time for yourself, you’ll be able to cope better if you take breaks away from the person you care for.